California Lawyer magazine has named three Morrison & Foerster partners – Eric Acker, Michael Jacobs and Susan Mac Cormac – among its 2012 California Lawyers of the Year. The magazine highlighted lawyers' accomplishments that had significant legal impacts in 2011. The CLAY award recipients will be featured in the March 2012 issue of California Lawyer.
Highlighted for their intellectual property work, Mr. Acker and Mr. Jacobs won a jury verdict in 2010 that secured for their client Novell the copyright ownership of early versions of the Unix computer operating system. Rival SCO claimed that the open-source operating system Linux improperly contained some Unix commercial code and sought hundreds of millions of dollars from Novel. MoFo handled the appeal, prevailing in August 2011 when the Tenth Circuit unanimously upheld the jury verdict.
Highlighted for effecting legislative change in California, Ms. Mac Cormac co-chaired the working group that drafted SB 201 creating Flexible Purpose Corporations. The law makes it possible for California businesses to fold goals of sustainability and social morality into their missions. Previously, companies in the Golden State were required to consider only profits and shareholder returns. But now – with the approval of shareholders – businesses can follow a new paradigm of profit meets conscience.